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The Lahore University of Management and Sciences (LUMS) is a private research university in the Punjab region of Pakistan. It was founded in 1984 and is considered one of the top universities in the country.  More than 2400 undergraduates and 1600 graduate students are currently enrolled. LUMS hosts one of the eight programs around the world selected to participate in the Youth Economic Participation Initiative (YEPI). The program is called Social Innovation Lab (SIL).

The main goal of the Social Innovation Lab is to support the development of youth-led enterprises through a social innovation desk, also called the “accelerator”. The School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law sponsors the program, which has already empowered students to publish a book on social entrepreneurship, mobilize a documentary studio to cover social issues, and create a social activism graphic novel.

In addition to those important social enterprises, one particular project has come to highlight the ingenuity and drive of SIL’s students. Rickshaw transportation is very common in Pakistan. These two- or three-wheeled covered vehicles can often be the most dependable way of getting around cities like Lahore. SIL’s Rickshaw Chalao Project aims to empower rickshaw drivers with better service, advertisement, and dependable repair support. See the video below for an introduction to the project:

The Social Innovation Lab has an ambitious agenda seeking to empower a large number of students. The program will support six cohorts of 20 entrepreneurs each semester, for the next three years. This will facilitate the creation of 120 student-led enterprises over the duration of the program. In addition, SIL’s leadership will host educational workshops that will reach more than 500 students each semester. These workshops will focus on soft and hard skills that bridge the industry-academia divide.